I think I might have Facebook depression, because it seriously makes me feel bad about myself. I know I should just cancel my account, but I can’t get myself to do it. I keep looking at it, even though it is discouraging. Facebook feels like a big popularity contest where the person with the most friends and the most interesting life wins. Why can’t I just cancel my account and stop looking?
You are not alone in this frustration. Facebook makes a lot of people feel depressed and inadequate. A study conducted bytwo German Universities found that Facebook created rampant envy and an unhealthy level of social comparison in many users — yet we can’t stop looking at it.
Most of us started using Facebook because we wanted a connection with other people, but for many it now feels like a competition where we must constantly prove our value and define our existence. There is no doubt life would be less stressful if you cancelled your social media accounts. You would get more done and spend less time comparing yourself with others, but we all get why you can’t do it.
You might miss something.
You probably have what is now being called FOMO: the Fear Of Missing Out. A recent JWT survey said 70 percent of adults have FOMO, and it causes a serious amount of stress for most of us.
Researchers at Edinburgh University said that one out of 10 Facebook users admit the site makes them anxious (and they feel an unhealthy amount of pressure to come up with inventive status updates and stay up to date on everyone's lives). But in spite of all of this, most people refuse to cancel their accounts.
The fear of loss is a powerful force.
You are afraid something important might happen and you would be out of the loop, but this fear shows up in other areas of life, too. It may compel you to record the new episode of your favorite show so you don’t miss it, even though your life would go on just fine if you missed it. You may buy things you don’t need if there is an amazing price for a limited time.
You could struggle with ordering in a restaurant because you are afraid you might miss something you would have liked better. You may stay uncommitted on your weekend plans because you want to check all the options before you commit. You might struggle with making all kinds of simple decisions because every choice means missing out on one of the options.
This fear could also cause problems in your relationships. You may hesitate to marry this girl or that boy because you might miss out on someone better who could come along later. But, if you don’t marry that person and decide to wait for a better one, you might regret that and wish you’d taken this one. (This is FOMO at work.)
Here are a couple suggestions for easing FOMO and having a healthy mindset on social media:
Hope this helps.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of ldslifecoaching.com and claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.